Why Some Feminists Hate Gov. Sarah Palin

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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," September 16, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "FOX News Alert." The United States government has just announced an agreement to loan up to $85 billion to American International Group, one of the world's largest insurers. And today, with the full support of the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve board authorized this emergency loan. The move comes in the face of yesterday's filing of bankruptcy by investment bank Lehman Brothers and Bank of America's acquisition of banking giant Merrill Lynch.

The White House has released a statement supporting the move, saying these steps have been taken to promote stability and to further limit damage to the broader economy. We're going to have more on this breaking news story later in the hour.

But first: They hate her. Yes, some feminists hate Governor Sarah Palin. There's no question many women love the governor, but some very vocal women have become downright nasty attacking her. Here's an example. A female religion professor at the University of Chicago named Wendy Doniger recently wrote this about Governor Palin. "Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she's a woman." Yes, that's a quote from a religion professor. Now, you might disagree with her political positions, but why the hate?

Joining us live is Cathy Young, contributing editor at "Reason" magazine and author of a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Why feminists hate Sarah Palin." First of all, how bad is the hate?

CATHY YOUNG, "REASON" MAGAZINE: Well, I wouldn't say -- "feminists" is a little too generalizing. I would say some feminists.


YOUNG: But there are a lot of feminists on the left -- there are feminist bloggers, there are feminist journalists in places like Salon magazine who have written just incredibly nasty things. And that piece by Wendy Doniger that you mentioned is certainly one of them.

And as you said, we're not talking about disagreements because, certainly, anyone is free to disagree with Sarah Palin. I disagree with her on a number of things, including abortion rights. But the level of hatred in some of those pieces really is just amazing.

And there was one piece on a feminist blog which even posed this question: Why does Sarah Palin make us so angry? You know, Why are we just furious and livid about her? And to the point of being irrational, the blogger actually said that. And that is something that I find really fascinating. The explanation, by the way, that was given by that blogger to me just was really mind-boggling. Her explanation was, We hate her because she stands for everything that we used to think women didn't have to do anymore in order to succeed, which is defer to men and be these man- pleasing cheerleaders and (INAUDIBLE) and so on.

And I'm thinking, Are we talking about the same person? I mean, this is a woman who calls herself a pitbull in lipstick. And -- you know, and she was saying, Oh, you know, the -- she -- she sends this message that women have to be non-intimidating and non-threatening to -- you know, to be successful? And this is really not the Sarah Palin that I have seen.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it's interesting. You raise the question -- I mean, and I think -- and I think you're absolutely right, is -- I mean, it is some feminists. There are many feminists that support this woman, that -- this woman...

YOUNG: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) disagree with her on some issues, but...

VAN SUSTEREN: And as you say, and...

YOUNG: ... You know, but we don't hate her.

VAN SUSTEREN: As you say, and there are there are some feminists who disagree with her and think she's not the right woman to be on the ticket. Yet they don't -- they're not mean and nasty.

YOUNG: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: But there's this element of mean and nasty.

YOUNG: Well, I will tell you one of my theories about why. I think that it's actually sort of the opposite of what that woman said, the one that I just mentioned. I think the reason that she drives them so crazy is that she doesn't fit their stereotype of what a conservative woman is like.

She is not the Stepford wife. You know, she is not the demure, man- pleasing, self-effacing woman, which is, I think, what a lot of them imagine conservative women are like. And I think that is really why she kind of drives them nuts because they cannot fit her into this framework, into the stereotype that they have built up.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm actually stunned that some -- and I keep on (INAUDIBLE) -- some of these feminists -- and we only have 30 seconds left -- have just -- I mean, that they have said the most wicked things, and I'm surprised that they don't look at it and think to themselves, Boy, I don't want people to know that I'm not looking at criteria of qualifications or experience, I'm just nasty.

YOUNG: Yes. And you know, they have said things that would be called misogynist, without a question.

VAN SUSTEREN: If a guy said it-...


VAN SUSTEREN: If a guy said it. Right.

YOUNG: They have called her a pinup queen. They have called her a pornographic centerfold. They have called her things that I cannot repeat on the air, you know? (LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed. And it's not all feminists. Some feminists support her.

YOUNG: Yes, absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: Some feminists don't agree with her at all...


YOUNG: ... They are not making themselves any favors because if they're going to argue with her positions, they are really undercutting their own case by stooping to that level.

VAN SUSTEREN: Cathy, thank you.

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